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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am ready to bite the bullet and upgrade my 8 year old desktop (actually tower) Windows 7 Home Professional PC to Windows 10. I have a current file-by-file backup on a network attached external hard drive. But I DO want to make a system image of the Win 7 system before starting the upgrade so if something goes wrong with the upgrade I can get back to a working Win 7 system.

While trying to do this I have discovered two gotchas. The first is that in Win 7 HP it is impossible to create a system image on a network (Ethernet) attached drive. The second is that I have a brand new USB attached drive, but am unable to make it appear as a drive under Computer.

The only other approach I can think of it to buy and install a new internal drive and create an image on it. I am hoping that some wise person here can suggest something that might let me make a system image without resorting to this.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

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Try a different USB port. If no good try the external HD on another computer to make sure it's OK.
 

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I have a brand new USB attached drive, but am unable to make it appear as a drive under Computer.
Your brand new USB HDD may not be initialized, Partitioned and Formatted or be assigned a Drive Letter. With the drive attached, go to Start/Search and type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
You may be prompted with the New Disk Wizard when you open Disk Management. If so, click OK to Initialize, then Partition, Format and assign a drive letter to the drive. If the drive is already partitioned and formatted and is Healthy, then right click it and choose Change Drive Letter or Paths, and assign a Drive Letter not being used.
If you don't get the New Disk Wizard, In the Lower Pane, do you see your new External HDD? If so, on the Disk # (ie) Disk 1, Disk 2 etc right click it and Initialize the drive. Now right click the Unallocated Space to the right and choose to Create a New Simple Volume, Partition, Format and assign Drive letter

What software are you using to do a System Image with? (ie) Macrium Reflect, Acronis True image etc. Are you using the USB Boot Flash drive you can create in the software to boot from to create your image?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your brand new USB HDD may not be initialized, Partitioned and Formatted or be assigned a Drive Letter. With the drive attached, go to Start/Search and type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
You may be prompted with the New Disk Wizard when you open Disk Management. If so, click OK to Initialize, then Partition, Format and assign a drive letter to the drive. If the drive is already partitioned and formatted and is Healthy, then right click it and choose Change Drive Letter or Paths, and assign a Drive Letter not being used.
If you don't get the New Disk Wizard, In the Lower Pane, do you see your new External HDD? If so, on the Disk # (ie) Disk 1, Disk 2 etc right click it and Initialize the drive. Now right click the Unallocated Space to the right and choose to Create a New Simple Volume, Partition, Format and assign Drive letter

What software are you using to do a System Image with? (ie) Macrium Reflect, Acronis True image etc. Are you using the USB Boot Flash drive you can create in the software to boot from to create your image?
A: Ethernet attached drive.
Works just fine, have been using it for a long time as a file backup drive.
Appears under Network as a network storage, works as expected.
Does not appear under Computer. There is apparently a limitation in
Win 7 home professional that prevents assigning had drives to a network
drive.

B: USB attached drive.
The new drive worked perfectly when plugged into a USB port on a
friends Windows 10 laptop, but not on my Win 7. The USB port I
plugged it into on mine works fine, memory sticks work when attached
to the port.

C: I have not yet gotten to the point of using any Systems Image software as
have not been able to access a drive to do so.
 

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You can Map a Network Drive for your Ethernet attached drive. Right click Computer and choose Map Network Drive, Choose a Drive letter, usually down in the alphabet, like Z: or whatever and browse for your drive. If it doesn't find it, in the Browse windows type \\DriveName, where Drive Name is the Name of the drive or the IP address of the network drive (ie) \\192.168.x.x. Then you will have your Network Drive under Computer, you can also Right click it and Share it.
As for the USB drive, did you go to Disk Management? Is the drive listed there? Be sure you are plugging the USB cable into the Back USB port of the computer (desktop) and the not the front ports or thru a Hub. The last 2 choices diminish power and are not as strong as the back ports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can Map a Network Drive for your Ethernet attached drive. Right click Computer and choose Map Network Drive, Choose a Drive letter, usually down in the alphabet, like Z: or whatever and browse for your drive. If it doesn't find it, in the Browse windows type \\DriveName, where Drive Name is the Name of the drive or the IP address of the network drive (ie) \\192.168.x.x. Then you will have your Network Drive under Computer, you can also Right click it and Share it.
As for the USB drive, did you go to Disk Management? Is the drive listed there? Be sure you are plugging the USB cable into the Back USB port of the computer (desktop) and the not the front ports or thru a Hub. The last 2 choices diminish power and are not as strong as the back ports.
Thanks for trying, but this is exactly what doesn't work. I can access the drive via Control Panel/Network, it shows up as \\10.0.0.190, I can read and write files on it all day long. But when I do as you suggest and type that address in the map network drive window it says "trying" for a long time and eventually gives up.

Some research I have found on www.windows7forum.com asserts that this is a known limitation on Win7 Home Professional. This seems to be the case.

Again, thanks for trying
 

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You don't have to map the drive, you can also go to Start/Search or Run box and type \\10.0.0..190 to access the drive. That's what I do for all of my network drives.
 

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I am ready to bite the bullet and upgrade my 8 year old desktop (actually tower) Windows 7 Home Professional PC to Windows 10. I have a current file-by-file backup on a network attached external hard drive. But I DO want to make a system image of the Win 7 system before starting the upgrade so if something goes wrong with the upgrade I can get back to a working Win 7 system.

While trying to do this I have discovered two gotchas. The first is that in Win 7 HP it is impossible to create a system image on a network (Ethernet) attached drive. The second is that I have a brand new USB attached drive, but am unable to make it appear as a drive under Computer.

The only other approach I can think of it to buy and install a new internal drive and create an image on it. I am hoping that some wise person here can suggest something that might let me make a system image without resorting to this.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
I'm having a similar issue with my WD My Book external HDD..Windows 7HP won't recognize the USB connection. Trying to access the stored info. Have tried other computers and USB ports..No luck.
 

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The drive may be in the process of failing, or have failed.
With the USB HDD attached in Windows 7, go to Start/Search and type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. In the Disk Management windows, in the lower pane, is your WD Drive showing? Is the File System Unallocated Space? Or under the Disk # (ie) Disk 1, Disk 2 etc, does it say Not Initialized? If the later or it is not listed, the drive has probably failed. If you don't need any data off of your WD drive, and it says, Unallocated Space, you can right click that and choose to make a New Simple Volume, and Format NTFS and give it a drive letter.
BTW if you are upgrading to Windows 10, you can choose to upgrade keeping files, and all your files and programs will still be there. Also, if you don't like Windows 10, you can always roll back to the previous OS for up to 2 weeks after the upgrade. However, you always should have a backup of your files, in case of disaster.
 

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The drive may be in the process of failing, or have failed.
With the USB HDD attached in Windows 7, go to Start/Search and type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. In the Disk Management windows, in the lower pane, is your WD Drive showing? Is the File System Unallocated Space? Or under the Disk # (ie) Disk 1, Disk 2 etc, does it say Not Initialized? If the later or it is not listed, the drive has probably failed. If you don't need any data off of your WD drive, and it says, Unallocated Space, you can right click that and choose to make a New Simple Volume, and Format NTFS and give it a drive letter.
BTW if you are upgrading to Windows 10, you can choose to upgrade keeping files, and all your files and programs will still be there. Also, if you don't like Windows 10, you can always roll back to the previous OS for up to 2 weeks after the upgrade. However, you always should have a backup of your files, in case of disaster.
Amazing help..thank you; It worked like a charm.
 

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I gave you a few options, which did you end up doing?
I used diskmgmt.msc and saw 2 drives listed, C and one I didn't recognize 0. I right clicked on the "unknown" 0 and chose rename the drive letter. I didn't uninstall it just chose to rename it. Unplugged the USB and restarted the computer. Plugged the USB back in and my external drive lit up and my computer could see it!!
 
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